The Dalai Lama shared his thoughts on a wide range of issues with TIME religion reporter Elizabeth Dias in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, before a planned two-week tour of the U.S. West Coast. Weighing in on everything from marijuana to social media, he shared his opinions of other world leaders like Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pope Francis.
On Chinese President Xi Jinping: "He is courageously tackling corruption, quite effectively. Fearlessly. [But] real development must take place in rural areas. It is not a solution to build new, big cities. [Also] 1.3 billion Chinese people have every right to know reality ... Censorship is an unrealistic method that actually develops distrust and suspicion. The Chinese judicial system must be lifted up to the international standard of judiciary systems. Then these 1 billion poor people can have some kind of protection."
The magazine also asked the Dalai Lama about whether Facebook or Twitter help or hurt our happiness, whether he's ever smoked marijuana, and about what Pope Francis and the Catholic Church can learn from Buddhism's view of women.